Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Ward Williams (Jump, Little Children) @ Local 506

Jump, Little Children:

"I Can Feel You"
(from Buzz, 1996. Buy or download JLC stuff.)
Ward Williams:
"Forever's Not Thirteen"
"Maybe Someday"
(from Ward Williams 2006. Buy here.)

It's been great fun for me to watch the developing career of Jump, Little Children. Most of those guys are from my hometown, and I knew them in various ways when I was young -- I took acting classes from the Bivins boys' mother, and (if I remember right) trained Evan as a Safety Patrol(!). But I was closest with cellist Ward Williams. We were good pals through third grade, when we went to different schools and lost touch for a while. We reconnected a bit through mutual friends in high school, and after that I've mostly watched from afar as JLC developed a pretty rabid cult following.

Jump, Little Children started out as a pretty folky band -- they spent time in Ireland, and that was definitely an influence early on -- though they occasionally threw a rap over top of that. ("Hey man, I love you but you know how it is/Even Mr. Cracker never counted on Cheez Whiz" remains a favorite lyric.) Over time, they moved away from that to a more conventional rock format, though Ward's cello kept something interesting in the mix. I really liked Buzz, a live album that kind of bridged the gap between the two sounds -- "I Can Feel You" is a track from that that features Ward to good effect. I mostly preferred the early stuff, and have to admit that I haven't even heard the band's last two albums. They are (at best) on hiatus right now as the members pursue various solo projects. Their last pass through the Triangle was billed as a "farewell tour". Whether that's for real or in the vein of the Who's farewell tours remains to be seen...

In any case, Ward has a solo album out, and is playing at Local 506 tomorrow night (9/6). From the samples on his web site and MySpace, it's a pretty pop album with some unexpected (to me) country influences. "Forever's Not Thirteen" also highlights Ward's strings, while "Maybe Someday" moves a little more in the country direction. (For the real thing, complete with weepy steel guitars, listen to "When You're Gone" on Ward's web site.) I remember Ward as very warm and funny, so I expect that he'll put on an engaging show. And this sounds cool: "Ward's live shows feature cello, guitar and recorded loops combining the two instruments." I'm looking forward to saying "hi" -- you should go check him out too!


Post a Comment

<< Home